Massive Transfer of Powers to the European Union: 1st November 2014. Please forward this blog on to all your email contacts.
Gerard Batten. Member of the European Parliament for London. 31st October 2014
In 2005 The European Constitution was rejected by the French and Dutch people
in their referenda.
The European Union dealt with this setback by re-drafting the Constitution as the Lisbon Treaty, and ensuring that the governments of EU member states would not put it to referenda of their people.
The Labour Government at that time had promised a referendum on the Constitution, but reneged on that promise by using the semantic argument that its promise applied to the ‘Constitution’ and not the ‘Lisbon Treaty’, despite the fact that the contents are 99% identical to the contents of the Constitution.
The Conservative Party under David Cameron in the run-up the 2010 general election gave us a “cast-iron guarantee” that if elected he would give us a referendum on Lisbon. After the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2010 William Hague, the new Foreign Secretary, said that the referendum could not be held because ‘Lisbon had already become European law’.
Had Mr Hague understood the basics of the English Constitution he would have realised that Lisbon had been enacted into law by means of an Act of Parliament; then a referendum could have been held and if Lisbon had been rejected by the people then that Act could have been repealed. But he clearly showed his and his Government’s acceptance that EU law is supreme – even over Parliaments of the future.
The Lisbon Treaty, came into force on 1st December 2009 and did many things. It made the EU (henceforward to be known as ‘The Union’) a political entity with the power to enter into Treaties and international agreements in its own right which would bind its Member States, and conferred powers on the Union which are normally the prerogative of sovereign nation states.
One of the things Lisbon did was to confer powers in numerous policy areas to be decided by the European Council (Heads of Government) by a Qualified Majority
Vote. In addition, Prime Ministers of member states can extend the Union’s legislative authority by a unanimous decision among themselves.
What Qualified Majority Voting Means
The Lisbon Treaty (Article 16) introduces a new definition for the rule of Qualified Majority Voting which shall be applicable in three stages:
1. From 1st December 2009 until 31st October 2014 for policies decided by QMV the weighting of votes system from the Nice Treaty continue
to apply. A blocking minority may be established by gathering together a coalition of 91 votes out of 352 or 38% of the population of the Union.
2. From the 1st November 2014 the QMV rule of a ‘double majority’ applies: The Council adopts a decision when it is approved by at least 55% of Council members comprising of at least 15 of them and representing Member States which include at least 65% of the population of the European Union. From 1st November 2014 until 31st March 2017 Member States can ‘demand’ the application of the previous weighting rules and the so-called ‘Ionnina Compromise’, but this is only allowed at the ‘discretion’ of other Member States and the rules allowing this compromise are vague.
3. From 1 April 2017 the rule of ‘double majority’
is obligatory; henceforward a blocking minority can be made up of at least four Member States representing at least 35% of the EU population.
What this means is that a British Government no longer has control over forty-four areas of policy that affect every area of life for the British people. A full list of the powers surrendered are given in the table below
Gerard Batten MEP
Despite David Cameron’s promise of a ‘renegotiation of our relationship with
the EU’ and the return of powers to the UK Government, the very opposite is
actually happening. Even more powers will be automatically transferred on
1st November 2014.
Transfer of Powers under the Lisbon Treaty. 1st November 2014
Policy Area Nice Treaty Lisbon Treaty
1. Administrative Co-operation Unanimity QMV
2. Armaments Agency, Rules Concerning Unanimity QMV
3. Asylum QMV QMV
4. Border Controls Unanimity QMV
5. Citizens’ Initiative Regulations Unanimity QMV
6. Civil Protection Unanimity QMV
7. Committee of the Regions Unanimity QMV
8. Common Defence Policy Unanimity QMV
9. Crime Prevention Initiatives Unanimity QMV
10. Criminal Justice Co-operation Unanimity QMV
11. Criminal Law Unanimity QMV
12. Culture Unanimity QMV
13. Diplomatic & Consular Protection Unanimity QMV
14. Economic & Social Committee QMV QMV
15. Emergency International Aid Unanimity QMV
16. Energy Unanimity QMV
17. EU Budget Unanimity QMV
18. Eurojust Unanimity QMV
19. European Central Bank Unanimity QMV
20. European Court of Justice Unanimity QMV
21. Europol Unanimity QMV
22. Eurozone External Representation Unanimity QMV
23. Foreign Affairs, High Representative Election N/A QMV
24. Foreign Affairs, Initiative of the High Representative Unanimity QMV
25. Freedom of Movement for Workers Unanimity QMV
26. Freedom to Establish a Business Unanimity QMV
27. Freedom, Security & Justice – Co-operation & Evaluation Unanimity QMV
28. Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy Unanimity QMV
29. General Economic Interest Services Unanimity QMV
30. Humanitarian Aid Unanimity QMV
31. Immigration QMV QMV
32. Intellectual Property Unanimity QMV
33. Organisation of the Council of the EU Unanimity QMV
34. Police Co-operation Unanimity QMV
35. President of the European Council Election N/A QMV
36. Response to Natural Disasters & Terrorism N/A QMV
37. Self-Employment Access Rights Unanimity QMV
38. Social Security QMV QMV
39. Space Unanimity QMV
40. Sport Unanimity QMV
41. Structural & Cohesion Funds Unanimity QMV
42. Tourism Unanimity QMV
43. Transport Unanimity QMV
44. Withdrawal of a Member State from EU N/A QMV
Sources: Eurofacts 25th July 2014.
From The European Constitution to Lisbon Treaty. By Jens-Peter Bonde. Foundation for Democracy. Website of the European Union.
Gerard Batten Member of the European Parliament for London
020 7403 7174 firstname.lastname@example.org